Effects of dietary supplementation with n-6 and n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on serum lipoproteins and platelet function in hypertriglyceridaemic patients

Acta Med Scand. 1986;220(2):153-60. doi: 10.1111/j.0954-6820.1986.tb02743.x.


Twenty-seven patients with hypertriglyceridaemia were given dietary supplementation either with evening primrose oil rich in gammalinolenic acid (GLA, 18:3 n-6) (n = 13) or a marine oil concentrate containing n-3 fatty acids (n = 14) in a double-blind cross-over design during 8 + 8 weeks with olive oil as placebo. During GLA supplementation, increases in GLA and dihomogammalinolenic acid (20:3 n-6) were found in plasma lipid esters and platelet phospholipids, whereas platelet function and serum lipoproteins were unaffected. During supplementation with n-3 fatty acids there was a significant decrease in triglycerides in all lipoprotein fractions with a slight increase in high density lipoprotein and low density lipoprotein cholesterol. A marked increase in the long-chain n-3 fatty acids was found both in plasma and platelets, mainly at the expense of the n-6 fatty acids. No pronounced effects on platelet reactivity could be demonstrated. Our results confirm a triglyceride-lowering effect of n-3 fatty acids, whereas no such effect of GLA could be demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Apolipoproteins / blood
  • Blood Platelets / analysis
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dietary Fats / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipoproteinemias / diet therapy*
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Aggregation / drug effects*


  • Apolipoproteins
  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Lipoproteins